WASHINGTON and OREGON — People who have recently bought pre-cut fruit from Fred Meyer should not eat it, because it may be contaminated with salmonella.

In a press release, the Washington state Department of Health said 18 people in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston and Yakima counties were diagnosed with the food-borne illness after eating pre-cut watermelon and cantaloupe, or fruit mixes that contained watermelon and cantaloupe. Two people in Oregon have also fallen ill.

According to DOH, any pre-cut fruit purchased between Oct. 25 and Dec. 1, from Fred Meyer, Rosauers and Central Market stores in Oregon and Washington could be at risk. The fruit should be thrown away.

Department of Health is working with state and federal agencies to determine the source of the outbreak, and whether there may be additional retail stores that got infected fruit.

Symptoms of salmonella include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider. It can be fatal in severe cases. Infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system are at greatest risk or suffering serious health consequences.

For more information on the health risks associated with Salmonella, visit www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Salmonella

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